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Dodgeball Injuries: A Guide to Vancouver Physiotherapist

Updated: Feb 29

Vancouver Physiotherapist Dodgeball Scopo Photography

Dodgeball, a game that evokes nostalgia and fun, is more than just a childhood pastime. It has become a dynamic sport that requires agility, coordination, strategy and strength. However, with the excitement of games 4 days a week with the Vancouver Dodgeball League, and Urban Rec comes the risk of injuries, particularly to the rotator cuff and other muscles involved in the overhead throwing movement.


Understanding Dodgeball and Its Fitness Requirements

Vancouver Physiotherapist Dodgeball Joanna
Ballin 4 days a week

Playing dodgeball demands a good level of physical fitness. Key muscle groups engaged during the game include the legs for quick movements and jumps, the core for stability, and the shoulders and arms for throwing and catching the ball. While these actions require a combination of strength, flexibility, and endurance, developing a maintenance plan with a Vancouver physiotherapist will help you dominate on the court and avoid injuries.


Top 5 Common Dodgeball Injuries and Vancouver Physiotherapists Recommendations

1. Dodgeball Shoulder (Rotator Cuff Injuries)

The repetitive, high-velocity throwing motions in dodgeball can lead to rotator cuff tendinopathy, strains, and sprains. These injuries cause pain and can limit mobility in the shoulder.

The mechanics of throwing a dodgeball involves a complex interplay of muscles, particularly in the shoulder.

Vancouver Physiotherapist Rotator cuff

The rotator cuff, comprising of 4 main muscles supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis muscles, plays a crucial role in stabilizing the shoulder joint and allowing for the rapid, forceful motions needed in dodgeball. The rotator cuff is also the most common area injured by dodgeball players. Regular visits to physiotherapy in Vancouver can help strengthen and aid in maintaining the health and strength of these muscles.

Vancouver Physiotherapy Recommendations for Rotator Cuffs

Focus on exercises that stabilize the shoulder muscles, such as rotator cuff strengthening exercises, scapular stabilization exercises, and shoulder range of motion exercises.

Specific Exercises:

  • External Rotation with a Resistance Band

  • Internal Rotation with a Resistance Band

  • Shoulder Blade Squeezes

2. Knee Injuries (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome):

Players often drop suddenly to their knees to catch dodgeballs, which can lead to patellofemoral pain syndrome. This condition causes pain around the kneecap and can be managed with proper knee support, strengthening exercises, and techniques to improve catching form.


Vancouver Physiotherapy Recommendations for Knee Injuries

Strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes can help reduce stress on the kneecap. Additionally, working on hip stability and flexibility can improve knee alignment.

Specific Exercises:

  • Straight Leg Raises

  • Clamshells

  • Hip Bridges

  • Quad Stretch


3. Lower Back Pain The throwing sling motion in dodgeball, which connects the throwing arm, shoulder, opposite side lower back, and ankles, can lead to lower back pain. Core strengthening exercises, proper throwing mechanics, and regular stretching can help prevent and alleviate this pain.


Vancouver Physiotherapy Recommendations for Lower Back Pain

Core strengthening exercises are key to supporting the lower back. Focus on exercises that engage the deep core muscles without straining the back.

Specific Exercises:

  • Planks/side plank

  • Cat-Cow Stretch

  • Paloff Press


4. Whiplash and Concussion from Head Shots Dodgeball players are at risk of whiplash and concussions from headshots. If a player experiences a headshot, they should be assessed for concussion symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary.


Vancouver Physiotherapy Recommendations for Whiplash

For whiplash, gentle neck mobility exercises and strengthening exercises for the neck muscles can be beneficial. For concussion, rest and a gradual return to activity are important, under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Specific Exercises for Whiplash:

  • Neck Rotations

  • Shoulder Retractions


5. Ankle Sprains Lateral movements and quick changes in direction can lead to ankle sprains in dodgeball. Wearing supportive footwear, practicing agility drills, and using ankle braces can help prevent sprains. If an ankle sprain occurs, use the acronym MEAT as an approach post injury.

  • Movement: Encouraging gentle movement of the injured area to promote blood flow and healing, rather than keeping it completely immobilized.

  • Exercise: Engaging in controlled exercises to maintain strength and flexibility, which can aid in the recovery process.

  • Analgesia: Using pain relief methods, such as medication or other pain management techniques, to reduce discomfort and enable movement and exercise.

  • Treatment: Applying specific therapeutic interventions, such as finding a Vancouver physiotherapost, to address the injury and facilitate healing.

Vancouver Physiotherapy Recommendations for Ankle Sprains

Focus on exercises that improve ankle stability and balance. Proprioceptive exercises can help retrain the ankle's sense of position and movement.

Specific Exercises:

  • Ankle Alphabet

  • Single-Leg Balance

  • Heel Raises

  • Ankle Eversion and Inversion with a Resistance Band

6. Wrist Sprains and Jammed Fingers Repetitive wrist movements and forceful impacts of a dodgeball can lead to wrist sprains and jammed fingers in activities like typing or sports. Using tape, warming up before activities, and practicing hand and wrist exercises can help prevent these injuries. If a wrist sprain or jammed finger occurs, use the acronym MEAT as an approach post-injury.

Vancouver Physiotherapist Dodgeball wrist wrap
  • Movement: Encourage gentle movement of the injured area to promote blood flow and healing, rather than keeping it completely immobilized.

  • Exercise: Engage in controlled exercises to maintain strength and flexibility, which can aid in the recovery process.

  • Analgesia: Use pain relief methods, such as medication or other pain management techniques, to reduce discomfort and enable movement and exercise.

  • Treatment: Apply specific therapeutic interventions, such as finding a Vancouver physiotherapist, to address the injury and facilitate healing.

Vancouver Physiotherapy Recommendations for Wrist Sprains and Jammed Fingers

Focus on exercises that improve wrist and finger stability and flexibility. Proprioceptive exercises can help retrain the hand's sense of position and movement.

Specific Exercises:

  • Wrist Flexion and Extension

  • Finger Taps and Spreads

  • Wrist Circles

  • Grip Strengthening with a Soft Ball

For all injuries, it's important to start with gentle exercises and gradually increase intensity as the injury heals. Always consult with a physiotherapist or healthcare professional before starting a new exercise regimen, especially if you're recovering from an injury.



The Role of Vancouver Physiotherapy in Dodgeball Injury Prevention

To prevent and manage dodgeball-related injuries, players should focus on conditioning and strengthening the relevant muscle groups. Physiotherapy in Vancouver plays a vital role in injury prevention and rehabilitation. Techniques such as targeted exercises, manual therapy, and education on proper throwing mechanics can help players stay healthy and perform at their best.

Have fun on those courts and stay hostile. agile and mobile!


Vancouver Physiotherapist VDL Furious Jorje
VDL Furious Jorje 2014



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